Why on Earth do boundaries matter?
Pastor Lim Lip Yong, Cornerstone Community Church // August 21, 2018, 3:22 pm
In reading the Genesis creation narrative, we often tend to focus on the content of what was being created on each day, and end up glossing over the process of creation – paying even less attention to what it all says about the Creator.
Creation is punctuated by a principal word: order. God introduced order to a planet that was without form, void and in chaos. At the same time, essential to establishing order on earth is the need to bring about separations and divisions.
The very first act of creating light was to separate light from darkness. The next act of creation was to divide the Heavens and the Earth. This is followed by a division of the land from the seas. In all these actions, we see boundaries being established.
What we need to realise is that we’re seeing an important rule of life that’s being given to us by Creator God: For life to thrive and flourish, boundaries must first be set in place. It’s true for creation and it’s true for our own lives.
In the Creation account, the division was not a separation of what’s good and bad. In fact, everything that was created was good. Six times, the Lord pronounced that Creation was good. The seventh time, He said it was very good. So I want to take a look at what these boundaries mean for us in our personal lives – here’s my quick take on what they are.
3 BOUNDARIES IN CREATION
1. Light and Darkness
Light and darkness is what divides day from night. The crucial biblical understanding of this is that work may be done in the day but not in the night (John 9:4). I believe this pertains to drawing a boundary between what we would do and what we wouldn’t. It’s important that we draw clear lines in our lives concerning the things that we would do and give importance to doing.
These include our spiritual disciplines, relational commitments and work pursuits. In this regard, I want to emphasise the importance of knowing what we’re called to do and staying within the sphere of where our calling and gifting lies. The older we are and the closer we are to convergence in our calling, the more we need to specify clearly what we will do in our jobs and what we won’t do.
In any marriage, it’s always good to set a boundary for words that will not be said. Bar the word “divorce” from your vocabulary. Your spouse must be the only person of the opposite gender you share your most intimate feelings to.
2. Heaven and Earth
There are things that God has determined He will do. These are things we cannot change. There are other things for which we’ve been given dominion over, these we need to govern and determine. Knowing which is which is essential.
Revelations is written and set in stone. What’s decreed to happen will happen whether you like it or not. While we cannot change such things, there are other things which is up to us. The contingent of redeemed souls marching into Heaven’s gates depends on our sharing of the Gospel. The Great Commission is ours to fulfill, as much as God is aiding us through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.
At a personal level, there are things that have been determined for us: Our parentage, physical build, gifting and talents. But the outcome of our lives is never limited by them. It’s given to us to determine what we do with what’s been given. Reality is filled with examples of those who started with so little – yet accomplished so much.
For life to thrive and flourish, boundaries must first be set in place. It’s true for creation and it’s true for our own lives.
3. Seas and Land
As a diver, I realise that the seas are not something to be trifled with. The tides and currents are forces of nature no human can overcome. Yet the seas are full of mystery waiting to be discovered. In fact, the most unexplored place on our whole planet is the ocean.
Land, on the other hand, is far more manageable. Mankind has tilled and worked the land, excavated and mined it, cut through mountains and turned wastelands into oases.
My simple take on this is that we need to know that there are some things we need to search out, while others need to be nurtured and cultivated. Cultivating is hard work. It requires dedication. It requires consistency.
On the other hand, there are things that we need to explore and discover. One requires discipline, the other requires adventure. We need both natures in us and we need to know which things in our lives need discipline or adventure.
Creation concludes with the Creator declaring, “It is very good.” This is a conclusion that comes from seeing how all the separate systems work inter-connectedly with each other. This is important for us to understand as well. While boundaries are established, each aspect of our lives must still connect with others in a proper and meaningful manner.
This article was first published on Cornerstone Community Church’s website, and is republished with permission.